Virtual work is a growing field and nothing new to the business world. Despite this fact, people are still intimidated and hesitant to take the leap into hiring a virtual person to help their business. There are pros and cons to hiring an employee and a virtual assistant (VA). It is important to weigh them both and see what is the best fit for your business. But if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur who is finding themselves working on the weekends or in the evenings, a VA might be the right solution that is cost effective and beneficial for your business’ growth.
Employee Vs. Virtual Assistant
Think of an employee’s job as a jar. You have to fill that jar as much as possible with rocks, which represent tasks and responsibilities. Because rocks are different shapes and sizes, there may be big gaps in the jar. And because you may not have enough work for the employee, the jar may not be filled to the top. Yet, you are still responsible for the whole jar. You still have to pay for the whole jar.
Pros of Hiring an Employee
- If you need to add a new rock to the jar, you can do quickly
- You can add various sizes and types of rocks
- It may be tough to keep that jar filled all the time (think smaller jar for part-time employees)
- If the rock won't fit into that particular jar, you have to add another entire jar or pay for another separate rock
Think of a virtual assistant’s job as a group of rocks without the jar. You only pay for the rocks you need, at the size you need them, when you need them.
Pros of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
- You only pay for what you need
- You have more flexibility; you can engage a VA on an as-needed basis
- You have to organize your rocks and know which ones you want a VA to take over.
- You have to be specific on what you want done, because a VA does not sit in your physical office. Communication is key!
The cost per hour for a VA will likely be higher than that of an employee, even when accounting for taxes and benefits. But you need to consider the overall cost. The number of hours a VA works will be significantly less than an employee’s. With an employee, you pay for the entire time they are with you (20-40 hours a week usually), even when they are doing nothing. A VA is able to be more efficient with their time, plus you only use them when you need them.
As an employer, you are responsible for your employee, including training, compliance, supplies, equipment and taxes. Your VA is a vendor, so your responsibility is simply to be a good client!
An employee is available during the shifts you set for them. A VA will have multiple clients and thus cannot be at your beck and call. There are situations where you can set times when they will be available to you, but usually you are required to pay them during those hours.
Specialty vs General Support
Because a small business is cognizant of the cost and responsibility of hiring an employee, I see a lot of small business owners who try to find and hire and all-in-one, jack of all trades person. How many people do you know who can fit that description? And the few you do know like that, how many stay in a low level position for long? Those types of rock stars move up quickly. With a VA, you can hire multiple specialists for the same cost of one employee.
To start a conversation about how a virtual assistant can help your business, contact Freedom Makers today. We offer a variety of military spouses who are looking for remote, flexible work. They have a diverse and impressive background of skills that will be an asset to your business. Freedom Makers is here to offer you freedom in your business and help you save money in the long run so that you can GROW!